40 Days to a Better Me–Day 04–Gratitude

40 Days to a Better Me—Day 04—Gratitude
“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High.” Psalm 50:14 The New Living Translation.
Expressing gratitude is one of the most effective ways of boosting self confidence and optimism. This is because when we express gratitude our ego (and all of its baggage) is moved out of the way. Everyone has an ego. And, at its core the ego is self-centered and self seeking.

The ego will attempt to influence you to react to any external stimuli in a negative manner. Understand that we all will experience tens of thousands of thoughts every day. These thoughts act as the bricks which we use to construct our lives. Our attitudes, beliefs, actions and interactions will all be influenced by our thoughts. And, what we think about will be determined on how we respond or react to external influences.

There will be circumstances and situations that occur in our lives that we will have absolutely no control over. Some believe that if they pray enough or have enough positive energy flowing from them nothing bad will ever happen to them. I feel that is rubbish. What would we learn from life if we never experienced trying circumstances, difficult people, or situations beyond our control? You would never know the power of faith. You would not know determination. You would not experience the joy of overcoming adversity! You would never have tasted the thrill of victory.

These external influences, as powerful as they may be, will only control you to the extent that you will allow them. People, who allow external influences or stimuli to dictate their lives, live from what is known as an external locus of control. They feel they have no control over anything in their lives. I believe that they are at the mercy of people and circumstances. They begrudgingly accept what life throws at them and accept it. They will allow bitterness and resentment to fester in their mind and soul until no one wants to be around them.

They wallow in self pity and continually remind themselves (and anyone who may be listening) on who or what did them wrong. They can recall with high definition clarity the incident, the day and the person that ruined their life. They refuse to let go of the pain of yesterday thus making themselves incapable of enjoying the fruits of a better tomorrow.

You may not be able to control everything that happens to you. But, there is one thing that you do have complete and total control over—YOUR THOUGHTS. Rather than living your life in response to external stimuli, live it from internal stimuli. You do this by taking control over your thinking. You have the power to accept the insult someone through at you or let it go. You have the power to decide if the divorce, bankruptcy, death of a loved one, rape, or whatever will ruin your life or not. This is known as living from an internal locus of control.

When we look at a person who has overcome extreme circumstances or situations we often say “how did they do that?” They were able to get ego out of the way and live life from the inside out. They were able to look at the trials and tribulations that they encountered as learning experiences. They express genuine gratitude. I am not talking about being grateful for the traumatic events that transpired in their lives. That is plain crazy. But being grateful for what they learned from it. They learned self-reliance, garnered self-esteem, and built self-respect. They refused to become one of the millions of faceless victims and became a victor. These are people like Oprah Winfrey, Chris Gardner, Dani Johnson, and Anthony Robbins who allowed the power of gratitude to change their lives. They saw their struggles and hardships as classroom lessons to achieve success.

Practice gratitude everyday and see what will happen to you. Two ways to do that: (1) Say thank you aloud throughout the day. Starting from the time you get up. (2) Look at life as a learning experience where valuable lessons can be learned. Remember this: Just as in school if you fail a test you must repeat it. The same works in life. Until you learn something from the lessons given, they will be repeated. Does that sound like anyone you know? Expressing gratitude will transform your life and it will help to unleash the potential that is inside of you.


~ by Daniel Toops on March 14, 2011.

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